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Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Vidar Leathershod City folk deciding how country folk should live (413 comments)

This study is attempting a purposeful deception. There is another reason for setting up districts this way, which is to curtail the influence of highly concentrated urban populations picking representatives for people whose lives and issues they know nothing about. If you look at the NY statewide election, the only reason Cuomo won re-election was that 3 urban centers overwhelmingly voted for him. Every other county, in a massively large state, voted for the other guy.

Now you could argue that those urbanites are just so much more intelligent than the country folk. Talk to people in NYC and ask them why they voted for Cuomo, despite his self-inflicted corruption scandal. Even his competitor in the primary could have trounced him absent the urban vote.

If it were not for gerrymandered districts, these same lackluster voters would be picking representatives who had no interest in representing those who live anywhere else farther than 20 miles from NYC, Buffalo, or Rochester (and those just barely).

about three weeks ago

Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

Vidar Leathershod Re:Tempting (181 comments)

Non-sequitur? He gave money to support a proposition that upheld society's longest existing institution against an onslaught of hyper-liberal hand-wringing. Your ad hominem of homophobe is applied to anyone who happens to agree with the current gay agenda of establishing a protected class with special rights and accommodations.

It is only through the flooding of the airwaves with propaganda and brainwashing of ignorant youth that same sex marriage has gotten the marginal support that it has. Surely it will grow, since the formative years of children are now filled with misinformation campaigns regarding homosexuality and its classification as an inherent trait similar to color or ethnicity that should be celebrated and honored.

In the meantime, there are still many people left who were not recipients of such "special education" and who have respect for the idea of marriage. Everyone has the same inherent right to marry. A male who has reached the age of consent may marry a female who has reached the age of consent, as long as they are not related too closely and meet the other requirement of not having a living spouse (and vice versa). These are not harsh restrictions, and they apply equally to all people. Note that there are no requirements to love one another, though presumably this should be the primary reason why the two would want to be wed.

Eich supporting these normal restrictions, as loose as they are, on marriage is not an act of discrimination.

about a month ago

Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Vidar Leathershod Bring back the lever machines (388 comments)

We still use lever machines for school budget voting. They just work, they provide actual privacy, and they are simple to operate.

about a month and a half ago

Of the following, I'd rather play ...

Vidar Leathershod What a crappy of options! - no Pinochle? (274 comments)

Pinochle wipes the floor with the rest of these. There is chance involved (based on the deal), wagering, trump cards, having a partner whose cards you are not fully acquainted with, and various styles of play that have all sorts of good and bad consequences based on all of the above, as well as the opponents style.

about 4 months ago

World's First Large-Scale Waste-to-Biofuels Facility Opens In Canada

Vidar Leathershod This is not the world's first large scale plant (96 comments)

This was being done in the 1970's, if I am not mistaken. It was called EcoFuel II (tm). It might be the worlds first in terms of this exact process, but there have been plenty of other "garbage to fuel" processes in the past.

about 6 months ago

Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

Vidar Leathershod Re:rich people go back to paying taxes? (335 comments)

I'm actually specifically excluding those to make a point. Take out the athletics. That's right, the horror! Wanna participate in sports? Sign up for Little League, Soccer, etc. on your own. My own children were in Little League, had to buy uniforms (not needed when I was a kid, just a hat and a shirt), and the Little League is not funded by the school. Same for traveling soccer leagues. Gym is called the playground. The teacher is certainly capable of watching the kids do some pushups, sit-ups, and some running. Mix it up if you want.

I counted regular real estate, but the kids don't need an expensive gym. And the total compensation of the teachers at 116,500 includes their retirement.

The only thing that is lacking is admin staff. That is also on purpose. Though, conceivably across those 13 grade levels you can find some money for one super and one secretary. The lack of staff will keep them from getting any spendy ideas, as they will be too busy doing the work they should actually be doing, limited to hiring staff and corresponding.

about 7 months ago

Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

Vidar Leathershod Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (355 comments)

I would disagree. The actual production cost difference was small, but manufacturers wanted to shave pennies, rather than raise the price and worry about the competitor getting placed in stores due to a $1 per thousand unit discount resulting from USB only implementations.

Consumers definitely noticed the slow speed of USB. Think back to when scanners became a desktop reality, before MFPs. USB was 12Mbps, and firewire was 400Mbps. Scanning was atrociously slow over USB. Also, when external hard drives were becoming more common, customers were frustrated at how long it took to transfer even over USB2. And the more you transferred, the slower it got. God forbid you try to use the computer during that time.

No, Firewire was killed by retailers and other penny pinchers. Consumers did not care about $2 on a $1000 computer, or $2 on a $100 scanner.

about 7 months ago

Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

Vidar Leathershod Re:rich people go back to paying taxes? (335 comments)

So you are saying that the 10% of children who might actually have special needs require more than one teacher at any one time? How many more? For example, in our school district, how many more teachers are required to teach the special ed children, assuming the non-special ed teacher has 10 students.

Also, you are obviously not familiar with children with disciplinary problems who get sent to private schools by their parents in an attempt to get them out of their hair. Where do you get your data on prep schools kicking out students for getting C averages?

about 7 months ago

Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

Vidar Leathershod Re:rich people go back to paying taxes? (335 comments)

Here in my upstate NY town, we spend $27,000 per student per year, almost on the nose. I just looked quickly at the cost of prep schools. Rutgers Preparatory was one of the first results from Google. It's yearly tuition is $28,240. They have a little over half of the enrollment of our school district. Tell me again how spending on kids has gone down, and tell me how we are going to improve their education by spending more money?

You could take each class year (90 students per class year), hire 9 teachers, for 10 students per teacher, and get:

a 1 million dollar building (more than what you need, and only need to buy it once every 40 years)
2 full time custodial staff at $90,000 total compensation per custodian
$200,000 yearly maintenance/heat/electric on the building.
and pay those teachers 116,500 per year in total compensation.

Now, if you would like to add some features, go ahead and do so. I think I am being very generous with the million dollar property. After all, you could spend 1 million more each year on property and buildings and still not have an issue excepting increased maintenance costs, and that's just for the kindergarteners. I'm sure you have a much more nuanced understanding of what is needed to educate our children. Why don't you enlighten us further?

about 7 months ago

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Vidar Leathershod Re:Wait... wha? (1482 comments)

Who said anything about love? Love and marriage are two separate things. You are demanding that society recognizes a union between two people of the same gender. Something that is biologically incorrect. And as we have seen, those people who demand that recognition will also feel justified in compelling others to provide goods and services to them, when a heterosexual couple can compel no one to do the same thing. They will feel justified in seeking a man's firing in response to that man's expression of his right to political speech and participation, which is otherwise protected by our constitution. In fact, they will go so far as to dig through donation records to seek out individuals to vilify.

You aren't looking for equal rights. You are looking for extra rights. What's really entertaining is that some people worry that legalization of gay marriage will lead to the legalization of polygamy. Funny thing is, polygamy is a lot more natural than a homosexual relationship. This is despite the distasteful behavior of many of its practitioners.

The fact that you or others may or may not be gay is not disgusting. What is disgusting is your blatant trampling of the constitutional rights of others in your attempt to obtain rights which are not due you.

about 8 months ago

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Vidar Leathershod Re:April Fools stories are gay (1482 comments)

This guy's view is shared by the majority of people in the world. No one should change their view just because it's the new cool thing to be a proponent of gay marriage. If you have a logical explanation as to why he should change his view, I would love to hear it. Meanwhile, this woman in the link below was not the least bit crazy, and at one point was going to marry another person who is likely crazy...


Totes normal, brah!

about 9 months ago

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Vidar Leathershod Re:Wait... wha? (1482 comments)

Anything heterosexual couples are able to legally do, homosexuals *are* able to do. They can get married to a person of the opposite gender. Equating sexual aberrance with skin color is conflating behavior with the quantity of melanin in the skin.

Whether or not someone feels they are gay, gay today and straight tomorrow, bi, a person trapped in the wrong gender's body, or whatever other problems they may suffer as a result of psychological, chemical, or hormonal influences of excessive soy consumption, it is not appropriate to demand that society provide official approval for the behavior. An obvious exception to this would be inappropriate sexual assignment of hermaphrodites by deviant medical professionals.

Some people are so unintelligent, they cannot imagine that anyone could disagree with their pseudo-enlightened ideals. They think that the government should reign supreme over the beliefs of the citizens it was formed to serve, and nothing they do should ever offend them.

about 9 months ago

A Look at the Koch Brothers Dark-Money Network

Vidar Leathershod Re:News For Nerds (406 comments)

Mod parent up...

about a year ago

Former Student Gets Year In Prison For College President Election Fraud

Vidar Leathershod Re:Not exactly the best and brightest... (274 comments)

I just read some of these. I don't know about the rest, but the Roger Hedgecock article states that the bailiff gave the jury alcohol and pushed for a conviction. After much wrangling and seeming judicial misconduct (judge stating he thought Hedgecock was guilty, and therefore would not release interview transcripts to the defense) the State Supreme Court ruled in Hedgecock's favor. He then plead to a misdemeanor, with *no* retrial.

Thanks for the links, though. Interesting reading.

about a year and a half ago

OS X Malware Demands $300 FBI Fine For Viewing, Distributing Porn

Vidar Leathershod Re:Not so Invulnerable now, huh...? (173 comments)

Well, I certainly don't. As far as I am concerned, it is the same attitude you hear when people say "But we have to do something!!!". It doesn't work. Don't bother. Use a more secure browser. Use an ad-blocker. Have a decent firewall installed. These will help. Perhaps you can enlighten us on which Antivirus program you use on the networks you manage. Then tell us which infections it stopped. I have customers who own solutions from Symantec, VIPRE, Kaspersky, McAfee, AVG, Avira, and Trend (among others I won't take the time to recall). Invariably, those who insist on using IE get infected the most. I have encountered some who get compromised or scammed while using Firefox or Chrome (99% of the time with no ad blocker installed). Not only do the AV packages not stop the infection, but looking in their "quarantine" I never find anything more than tracking cookies. The first rootkit, virus, or whatever that the package encountered was not only not stopped, but crippled the AV.

Often, the AV package is still intact enough to interfere with the proper progress of a legitimate mitigation tool like ComboFix, though.

The customers I have who never get infected? Yeah, they're using Macintoshes, running OS versions between 10.5 and 10.8. Occasionally I see a Mac user who has been tricked into installed MacKeeper (bogus maintenance software) when they don't have an ad-blocker installed. Simple to remove without extra software.

about a year and a half ago

3D Printers For Peace Contest

Vidar Leathershod MOD PARENT UP (273 comments)

Fantastic points, highly insightful. It's funny how the dogma they feed you in the school systems talks about McCarthy's witch hunts, and then ignore the fact that much of what he claimed was actually correct (see Venona Project - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venona_project).

about a year and a half ago

Lenovo To Drop Iomega Brand On Joint EMC Products

Vidar Leathershod I never understood why Iomega was so popular. (58 comments)

It always struck me that Zip drives became so ubiquitous. I looked at them briefly for my own use, and chose the Syquest EZ135 instead. The Syquest had a transfer rate 4 times the speed of the Zip drive, and the access time was half that of Zip. About the same cost for drive and cartridges, but 35MB more data per cartridge. Considering my internal drive was a 40MB SCSI drive, that was something. I swear that sometimes the Syquest felt faster than my internal SCSI drive, though I never benchmarked it.

They always mounted, unlike Zips which sometimes had seating difficulties. Later, when Jaz came out, for the same price you could get the Syjet. A faster drive and 50% more storage. Not as reliable as EZ135, but then again, JAZ was a reliability disaster. Oh, well.

about a year and a half ago

Dr. Robert Bakker Answers Your Questions About Science and Religion

Vidar Leathershod Re:Well That Was a Depressing Read (388 comments)

Why would Augustine have been burned at the stake? He was raised as a pagan, and in fact lived in a society where Christianity had no domination over the fate of men. I may be mistaken, but it appears from your comments that you have a very emotional response to this very sedate and relaxed message from Dr. Bakker. His primary point was to give credit where credit is due. Many of these people learned a great deal about a great many things without all the advantages we have today.

At the same time, they did not have the disadvantage of learning these things as if they were some obvious fact that was spoon fed to them by a professor. They didn't run around parroting scientific notions that they had no direct knowledge of on the strength of perceived authority. Certainly they had other ridiculous notions, some of which may have been inherited. But on the whole, they were deep thinkers who explored their universe. Most people then and today do not spend 10% of the time these guys did thinking and discovering.

about 2 years ago



Keysure: Good for storing passwords.

Vidar Leathershod Vidar Leathershod writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Vidar Leathershod (41663) writes "I recently had the opportunity to use a very cleverly designed product. I needed a solution to give a customer's employees emergency access to a password for a server, so that when their admin was on vacation or unavailable (hit by a bus, whatever), and if I was unavailable, they could access a server if they had a maintenance issue.

Looking at many of the secure key storage and "loaning" systems, I found that there were tons of very expensive, highly complex products that we didn't need. Many were electronic, and had tons of "features" that seemed to make them less versatile. I also found a very simple device, which fit our price target (cheap!) that filled all of the requirements. It's a little plastic box that snaps closed. It's not tamper-proof, it's tamper-evident. The product's web page talks a lot about keys being managed for apartments and the like, but it is also mentions things like passwords, and the almighty emergency petty cash stash.

I ordered some of these, and tested them for tamperability. They aren't hard to break, but I have yet to figure out how one can open them without showing evidence of such. I stopped trying, because I think it fits my needs perfectly.

Here's how they work:

1. You put something in the little plastic containment area.
2. You snap the cover on (make sure you have what you want in there, there's no going back)
3. You label it, or sign it, or whatever (it has an inkable surface)
4. If someone needs it, they they perform sweet glorious destruction on it (i.e. step on it)
5. They retrieve the password, and screw up the server
6. You return from vacation. You fix the server, yell at everybody, and change the password.
7. Grab and use another plastic doohickey for the new password.

Seriously, though, I could have used one of these while in Brattleboro, VT. Instead, when I got back to cell phone world, I had dozens of messages on my machine. Yes, there was someone covering for me, but they were unavailable for whatever reason (we operate in remote areas with limited cell service).

What I think is so perfect about these things is the simplicity. Frills are a minimum, though you can apparently get attractive metal or wood cabinets for them, and label tags, and all that stuff. Still cheap, but we only need a couple of dozen. They seem to do a bit of business with Landlords who need the ability to access an apartment with accountability. But I am impressed with how well they adapt to the technical world of having very few people with admin access. You can find these doohickeys on http://keysure.net/ for $6.60. Much less than spending literally thousands on a crazy contraption that will surely require more tech support when someone needs to use it. I have contacted the manufacturer, and recommended they contact ThinkGeek, as I think a lot of other admins would like to take a vacation as well."

Michael Crichton passes away at 66

Vidar Leathershod Vidar Leathershod writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Vidar Leathershod (41663) writes "Michael Crichton, the author of many novels, has passed away aged 66, after a battle with cancer. Hollywood took much inspiration from his stories, and in later years his lecture "Aliens Cause Global Warming", speeches on Science as a religion, and novel "A State of Fear" caused an uproar among supporters of the theory of Global Warming, and earned him a lot of scorn from some Slashdotters. Hopefully, everyone can agree on a net positive effect from his life, as he brought many weeks of entertainment with his books."


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